Eels coach demands strong finish to NRL season

Last updated 15:22 05/09/2014
Brad Arthur
Getty Images
DISAPPOINTED: Eels coach Brad Arthur has called for a reaction from his players against Canberra after last week's heavy loss to Newcastle.

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A halftime spray from coach Brad Arthur wasn't enough to keep Parramatta's season in their own hands at Newcastle, but he expects a reaction from his players against Canberra on Saturday.

The Eels are relying on other results and a win over the Raiders at GIO Stadium to have any chance of making the NRL finals after  being thumped 42-12 by the lowly Knights last week.

Arthur admits the defeat, which came eight days after his side's stirring come-from-behind win over over Manly, was a crushing disappointment and blamed it on some complacency from his players.

''We trained really well and the trip to the ground and everything else didn't indicate that [complacency],'' Arthur said.

''But we scored three minutes into the game and maybe we were trying to fast-forward the clock to get through to next week so  complacency did creep in at times.

''I gave them a spray at halftime ... it didn't work.

''But there is no point coming back here and spraying them again.

''We did our review as usual on Tuesday and we were very honest and the boys copped it on the chin.''

The defeat by Newcastle marred a fine run of form that had seen the Eels surge into the top eight and Arthur said the manner of the second-half performance was hard to take.

The Knights scored 32 unanswered points to blow Parramatta's for and against to -90. That's easily the worst of any team in the top 10.

''We brought our points against down to 13 over the last six  weeks, it's just an attitude adjustment,'' he said.

''We don't need to re-invent the wheel or learn how to tackle. We know how to tackle. We just have to want to do it.

''We are playing for pride. We know there is a semifinal spot there but it's out of our control.

''What's not out of control is how we turn that performance around and where it takes us it takes us.''

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